The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation is an Asian survival horror game developed by Eastasiasoft. It is available on consoles and PC. The publisher is well-known for titles like Rainbow Skies, and, Ghost Blade HD, among others.
The game is presented in a first-person cinematic point of view, immersing the player in the journey of six university students who challenge a renowned urban myth and trigger a devastating curse. In order for the protagonists to survive, they must navigate a treacherous haunting, traverse a Taiwanese academic campus, and solve enigmatic puzzles. Whilst engaging with various memorable characters, and encountering a well-known supernatural phenomenon.
Break The Curse and Escape Campus
I was thrilled to try out The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation as I hadn’t come across much information about it before its release. I love horror games, especially those that offer a good dose of jump scares.
Six students from their university decided to go viral by livestreaming themselves coaxing out the ghost of a girl who died on the bridge on campus. The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation is a horror title which includes some puzzles as well as collectables that explain more about the lore of the girl who died.
As midnight approaches, one of the students sits in a chair on the aforementioned bridge, blindfolded by the others. The legend states that if anyone dares to climb the 13 steps on the bridge located at Tung Hu University at the stroke of midnight, they will be rewarded with the revelation of a 14th, hidden step. But beware, for upon turning around, a menacing ghost will appear, ready to either curse or kill the adventurer who dares to climb those steps.
The start of the game provides the most frustration of any game I’ve played recently. After the ghost appears you have to run away however, you are given no direction on where to run to. There are barricades that block paths, oh and the ghost can pass through them. I almost quit after around 10 attempts but more by luck than judgment I got away.
It’s more difficult to navigate the campus due to the heavy fog obscuring important information. It’s important to locate directional signs that point towards campus buildings. Make sure that when you are exploring you explore the buildings thoroughly, but what appear to be strands of ghostly hair block some areas. It is a slow burn for the first hour or so with repetitive trips between the bridge and the university that usually involve being chased. The characters soon begin to realise the hauntings are happening around them as the game picks up that.
Hiding is crucial when being chased. Whether you hide in a portable toilet or a wardrobe, it can help you avoid being caught. However, this strategy is only effective for a limited time. It is important to remember that it’s not just you that the spirit is after, so not all of your group may make it out alive. You can observe cracks emerging within the group, especially as tension mounts and members become isolated. Despite the eerie and haunted atmosphere that has been created, the characters in the story appear to be incomplete in their reactions to the supernatural occurrences around them.
Puzzles and Jump Scares
One puzzle requires finding five items and placing them in the correct position on a whiteboard. Some tasks require finding a branch to clear areas blocked by ghostly hair. The chase scenes may also be seen as a puzzle as corridors shift and spirits chase you only to appear through another door. This is where the jump scares work well as you have to run back the way came. However, there are still some small jump scares that are more amusing than terrifying, as you search through cupboards and drawers.
The only way to keep track of your objectives is by bringing up your mobile phone (triangle on PlayStation) and this will list what is happening, I found this especially useful after being chased around by what I can only describe as the woman from The Grudge films that climbs through TV’s.
Graphics & Audio
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation creates a unique and charming dark atmosphere that is truly one of a kind. Although, it must be said that certain areas of the graphics could be improved. However, the overall performance of Sony’s most powerful console is impressive. Loading times are swift and match the current generation. In a rare turn of events my time playing the game, ran flawlessly without any bugs or crashes which is great praise for the devs.
The game’s horror theme brings to the forefront the need for lighting in various areas. While other games offer a torch or camera phone light to help you navigate, this game doesn’t. The absence of such tools makes it challenging to move around and adds to the difficulty of the trial-and-error gameplay. Getting lost in the fog, however, does heighten the game’s suspense and horror elements. It just would have been nice for these to be broken up with some light.
The silence of the darkened hallway is only broken by the faint sound of footsteps echoing in the corridors. Each step taken seemed to be followed by an unseen presence, that aims to send shivers down your spine. The flickering lights cast eerie shadows on the walls, heightening the sense of foreboding. Suddenly, a loud crash echoed through the corridor as an object fell to the ground, jolting you out of your thoughts and reminding you of the danger that lurks in the shadows. This is an example of the audio playing a massive part in horror titles and this is no exception. You do have the option of playing with the original audio and English subtitles, I feel that this should be the default option as the English voice acting is not great.
It can be extremely frustrating to go through a trial-and-error process in a game and keep getting killed without any direction. This can significantly impact one’s gaming experience, leading to longer play times. It’s crucial for game developers to provide some direction in areas for players to enhance their overall gaming experience. By doing so, players can enjoy the game without any unnecessary frustration.
At around 5 hours it provides enough to give you the satisfaction for your money without dragging it out.
The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation has areas that are great, especially when it is setting atmosphere. I felt the initial section of the game should have provided some direction, which would have reduced the early frustration.
The jump scares are for the most part well-done, unexpected, but effective. The initial frustration really set the tone of what to expect in the first hour. I did not enjoy the game as much as I had hoped.
It is for this reason I award The Bridge Curse: Road to Salvation the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.